The price of a retail copy of Windows 8 Pro will jump from Rs 3,499 to Rs 12,999 tomorrow when the introductory offer ends. Microsoft has confirmed exclusively to Tech2 that pricing for the base version of Windows 8 will change to Rs 7,999 and the Pro version will jump to Rs 12,999. These prices apply to both FPP (fully packaged product) and ESD (electronic software download) purchases.
Windows 8 was introduced on October 25, 2012 with an introductory offer price of Rs 1,999 for existing users of Windows XP, Vista and 7. That offer also expires today, along with the free Windows 8 Media Center add-on offer for Windows 8 Pro users. Those who wish to take advantage of these offers should not only download the Media Center add-on today but also activate it with the key that will be emailed to you during the sign-up process.
The price jumps to Rs 12,999 on February 1, 2013
If you do buy Windows 8 Pro online today for Rs 1,999, you will be able to upgrade up to five PCs currently running Windows XP SP3, Vista or 7. The upgrade will also work if you’re running the Consumer Preview or Release Preview of Windows 8, but not the final Release To Manufacturing evaluation (which can still be used for up to three months). The license is valid for individuals, families and small businesses according to the fine print on Microsoft’s website. You’ll be restricted to a 32-bit or 64-bit copy of Windows 8 depending on which flavour of Windows you currently run; there’s no direct upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit edition.
If you’re unsure about whether your PC can handle the upgrade, you can download Microsoft’s free Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant which will evaluate your PC and display any incompatibilities or problems before purchasing the new OS. The primary advantages of Windows 8 Pro over its plainer sibling are BitLocker encryption, the ability to use remote desktop connections, and the ability to join a corporate network domain. Apart from its dramatically different new user interface and ability to run apps from the Windows Store, Windows 8 improves upon its predecessor in terms of performance, boot time, security, file system management and compatibility with modern hardware. Our full review is here.
The discount offers introduced at the launch of Windows 8 will expire on January 31, 2013.
Multiple reports suggest that Windows 8 has not caught on with customers as quickly as Microsoft would have liked. The company blames a lack of innovation on the part of hardware manufacturers, while analysts suggest that the new tiled, touch-based Modern UI and a proliferation of new hybrid laptop/tablet designs have been causing confusion in the marketplace. A general slowdown in PC sales has also resulted in fewer people buying new PCs preloaded with Windows 8. Microsoft reported four million sales in the first weekend after launch and 40 million sales in the first month.
Microsoft did not disclose the post-offer prices of Windows 8 at launch time. It’s only now that we get an idea of how deep the introductory discounts have been. This huge increase in price will only dampen enthusiasm for Windows 8 further.